Roberta, Ramona, prairie dog pets and diva Clydesdales
June 20, 2011
Good storytellers write about what they know and what they love. For Roberta and Ramona, what they know is that prairie dogs can be pets, calves can sometimes find their way into the kitchen and a Clydesdale named Ruby was destined for divadom. What they love is turning these stories into children’s books about farm life.
Roberta Seiwert Lampe and her daughter Ramona Lampe together have written two novels, six children’s books, four books of poetry books — with several more in the works. I wrote about Roberta last year (http://lynnwoolf.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/strong-women-and-their-stories/ ) and was lucky to meet Ramona this spring.
Roberta has written throughout her career, but started writing her first novel later in life, as a way to cope with her husband’s cancer and other family tragedies.
“Agnes was a story I wanted to write for years. I thought ‘This story has to be told,’ ” says Roberta. Agnes was her grandmother, who emigrated from Germany, moved to Kansas and married a widower with six children.
Ramona started writing her first story, Ruby the Diva Clydesdale, at Roberta’s urging. “I kept saying she should write this story, but she said, ‘I don’t know anything about Clydesdales. You write it.’ So, I did.” Ramona drew upon the personality of a real-life Clydesdale from a horse farm where she works.
Their author relationship is separate from their mother-daughter relationship. Ramona says they’re not a creative team, but a marketing team. They write separately, but share book signings and speaking engagements. Both are good talkers and good listeners, so they enjoy conversations with strangers as well as friends.
I believe their mother-daughter relationship strengthens both their creativity and marketing efforts. And, it’s heartwarming to see their mutual admiration. For instance, Ramona warmly refers to Roberta as her “rebel mother.” Roberta tears up when she says how proud she was of Ramona at a recent book signing, when Ramona shared her personal struggles after a head injury.
They share a common goal, too: Draw upon their own experiences on their family farm to help educate children about agriculture — and bring a smile or two.
A testimonial from my own farm girl (and artist): “The stories are funny and cute and the drawings are very inspirational. My favorites are Prairie Dog Pet and Calves in the Kitchen.”
You can learn more Roberta, Ramona and their books here: http:\\lampebooks.tateauthor.com.